Bollinger out, Beer in as Aussies shake up squad
Australia dropped three players and plucked left-arm spinner Michael Beer out of his debut first-class season for next week's crucial third Ashes Test against England in Perth.cricket Updated: Dec 10, 2010 10:25 IST
Australia dropped three players and plucked left-arm spinner Michael Beer out of his debut first-class season for next week's crucial third Ashes Test against England in Perth.
Marcus North, Xavier Doherty and Doug Bollinger paid the price for Australia's crushing innings and 71-run defeat to England in this week's second Adelaide Test, while opener Simon Katich was forced out with injury.
Beer, 26, who is playing his first Sheffield Shield season with Western Australia, gets a surprise call-up in Australia's hour of need ahead of former first choice Nathan Hauritz.
Steven Smith replaces the out-of-form North at number six in the batting order, while Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, discarded for the second Test, come back into Test reckoning ahead of Bollinger.
Bollinger struggled after taking the early wicket of Andrew Strauss in the England first innings to finish the Adelaide Test with the figures of 1-130.
Phillip Hughes will replace Katich, who will miss the rest of the Ashes series with a torn Achilles tendon.
"Phil is an exciting young batsman who has already proven his ability to succeed at international level and he deserves this opportunity to return to the Australian side," chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
Hilditch said Smith will replace North after scores of 1, 26 and 22 in the first two Tests.
"This is obviously disappointing for Marcus who has played some outstanding Test innings for Australia but it was felt to be the right time to bring the exciting prospect Steve Smith into the Test team," he said.
"Steve has already had success at international level and will also add to the bowling depth with his leg spin bowling and dynamic fielding."
The biggest selection surprise was Beer, who comes in for another left-arm spinner Doherty, who was battered for 1-158 in Adelaide.
"Michael is a left-arm orthodox spinner who has been very impressive at domestic level this year," Hilditch said.
"He took wickets against England in the tour match for WA earlier this summer and we expect he will bowl very well against the English on his home ground."
Hilditch said Johnson and Hilfenhaus will be strongly considered for selection in the Perth Test match where conditions will suit them.
"Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle were the pick of our quicks at Adelaide Oval and these four make up the pace attack for the Perth Test match," he said.
"The squad is a very exciting one with a blend of talented young players and experienced international cricketers.
"We are confident it will play an aggressive brand of cricket as we try to change the momentum of the Test series in this critical Ashes Test match."
England as the Ashes holders can win the series if they beat Ponting's team in Perth from next Thursday.
Australia - Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vice-capt), Michael Beer, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Shane Watson.